In what ways, will you be able to help your students collaborate using technology?
Collaborative problem solving and decision making is a key skill in my discipline area of History where students must learn to “communicate effectively, work in teams, negotiate, develop strategies to resolve issues and plan for action” (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2015). Gilbert and Hoepper (2017, p. 91) argue that collaborative learning is imperative to creating a thinking culture through talk (or chat) and supports learning habits and dispositions beyond subject-based skills. This is where technology affords collaborative learning across multiple disciplines by enabling deeper knowledge development through social interactions. I hope to utilise collaborative learning as a core component of pedagogy in my History and English classrooms in the following ways.
- Web 2.0: I plan to integrate multiple social networking platforms such as Twitter, Ning, Wiki and Facebook as part of an obligatory assessment strategy where students share and co-construct their ideas. Here students can construct deeper knowledge both asynchronously (discussion boards) and synchronously (chat). Howell argues that social media dialogue can serve as a collaborative tool where students generate knowledge by interacting with each other as creators of content (Howell, 2012, p. 158).
- Group work: Students work as a team on a community problem-solving issue through enterprise projects, service learning, and other social justice projects. One such tool is the Future Problem Solving Program Australia where students learn to negotiate, advocate and accept group roles and responsibilities. Students develop social awareness by participating in a community service learning activity, developing deeper knowledge due to the collaborative opportunities it affords(Gilbert & Hoepper, 2017, p. 97).
- Soft Skills: The Singapore Ministry of Education argues that soft skills are necessary for students to cognitively develop different ways of knowing by internalising different perspectives to their own(Singapore Ministry of Education, 2011). Soft skills can be guided by triggering authentic questions in class or online to demonstrate how different perspectives can contribute to developing better knowledge.
- Mind Mapping Software: Students can co-construct knowledge by developing a mind map using software such as us or TimeGlider.
- Peer Review: Students provide feedback on their peers’ work as a way of motivating high-level ideas and developing arguments. Laurillard (2009) explains this method as a type of conversational framework where learning occurs through online discussion across multiple contexts, people, and interactive technologies.
I am also hopeful to continue collaborating with my teaching peers to generate lesson ideas and share resources. Special thanks to Benita Rowe for being my ESC407 twitter buddy this session and to all my fellow students for sharing some fantastic articles and technological wisdom.
Arvaja, M., Hakkinen, P., & Kankaanranta, M. (2008). Collaborative learning and computer-supported collaborative learning environments. In J. Voogt, & G. Knezek (Eds.), International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education (Vol. 20, pp. 267-280). The Netherlands: Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority . (2015). F-10 Curriculum Humanities and Social Sciences 7-10 Civics and Citizenship. Retrieved from Australian Curriculum v8.1: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanities-and-social-sciences/civics-and-citizenship/curriculum/7-10?layout=1
Gilbert, R., & Hoepper, B. (Eds.). (2017). Teaching Humanities and Social Sciences: History, Geography, Economics, and Citizenship in the Australian Curriculum (6th ed.). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Connectivity. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Laurillard, D. (2009). The Pedagogical Challenges to Collaborative Technologies. International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(1), 5-20.
Singapore Ministry of Education. (2011). Advancing Collaborative Learning with ICT: Conception, Cases & Design. Retrieved from http://ictconnection.moe.edu.sg/ictconnection/slot/u200/mp3/monographs/advancing%20collaborative%20learning%20with%20ict.pdf